This is in line with current projects and focus areas of the university and its close partners in the West Nordic region (including Canada). The West Nordic region consists predominantly in both its geography and social structure of coastal communities. This is one the main differences between the West Nordic region and the larger Nordic region.The University of the Faroe Islands is especially poised to coordinate such a network being a “coastal community university” and a leading partner in a new Master’s programme in West Nordic Studies, Governance and Sustainable Management, which is also partly funded by the University of the Arctic.

Overall Goal

The Thematic Network and the University of the Faroe Islands will use the activities and experiences of the West Nordic Studies programme, the Social Innovation, Planning and Community Studies network, and the Green Growth Dialogue to further the development of and collaboration in the new TN. The main goals and activities of the Arctic Coastal Communities network will be to:

  • Establish research and education sub themes and groups of renewable energy and green growth, sustainable fisheries and marine resource governance (blue growth), transdisciplinarity and community development.
  • Further develop the Master’s in West Nordic Studies, Governance and Sustainable Management. In order to gain stronger visibility in the Arctic, attract more students from Arctic regions beyond the Nordic region and explore commonalities of West Nordic coastal communities with other Arctic coastal communities.
  • Establish a new PhD network, at the same time developing a needed research infrastructure to support and educate new PhD students.
  • To secure stronger research collaboration in the fields of West Nordic Studies, Sustainability, Coastal Communities, and Transdisciplinarity and the long-term sustainability of the network and its activities.
  • Establish regular dialogues and workshops with university scholars, students, civil society, public and private stakeholders.As well as study and practice transdisciplinarity and engaged scholarship as the approach to sustainability. 
  • Support the coastal communities’ transition to a sustainable future.

Main Activities 

  • MOU organise first conference and write a call for sub themes and groups which include both academic and non-academic participants.
  • West Nordic Studies Annual enrolment of new Master’s students.
  • Student mobility between the five West Nordic universities.
  • Offer students financially supported participation in intensive and practical courses connected with annual events like the Arctic Circle, the High North Dialogue, the Green Growth Dialogue, the Model Arctic Council, and the Polar Law Symposia.
  • Publish a “West Nordic Studies Reader” with chapter contributions from all partners.
  • Invite PhD students to do research on coastal communities’ transition to a sustainable future.
  • Organise one to two PhD courses a year on topics relating to the Thematic Network goals.
  • Include PhD students in West Nordic Studies Nordplus network for mobility funding.
  • Share new knowledge from all PhD projects in newsletters and on relevant websites (like
  • Members will organise an annual event connecting the coastal communities and sharing knowledge and best practices of transdisciplinary research and education.Which will serve as a meeting place of members, but more importantly will explore transdisciplinarity in practice by setting up concrete processes of deliberation on complex issues through e.g. “town-hall meetings”, issue-specific workshops, or by using role-playing and theatre or art to facilitate a process of co-production of knowledge.
  • Continue and expand the Green Growth Dialogue.
  • Establish a Green Student-House and Learning Lab at each partner university in close collaboration with local educational institutions, municipalities, and relevant private actors.